Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio, speaking on Spanish-language television Monday night, said he supported a change to Arizona's controversial immigration law -- and not necessarily the law itself.
"The law, how it is now, do you support it, yes or no?" Maria Elvira Salazar asked on Mega TV's Maria Elvira Live.
"I don't support states taking this into their own hands," Rubio replied. "I think this needs to be dealt with at the federal level. What I support is the change they made to the law, because that improved the law."
Earlier this month, the conservative website Human Events asked Rubio if he would have voted for the changed version of the law. "The second one that passed hit the right note. Yes," he said.
The latest nuance on Monday night was part of Rubio's evolving position on the amended law, which makes it a crime for immigrants not to carry legal papers and gives local police the power to question people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. Proponents say the measure will bring law and order to a state where the federal government allows illegal immigration to run amok.
After passing the first time, the law was amended to outlaw ethnic and racial profiling by police. But critics say without any clearly defined criteria, police will be forced to base their suspicions about a person's legal status on their nationality or language skills.
"I disagree with that [criticism]," Rubio told Salazar. "I'm a lawyer and I've read it and I support the change, because the change they made -- which is what I support -- makes that law better.
"And I keep saying and repeating, I don't think this is the right way to deal with this issue."
UPDATE: Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos told us Monday morning that there is no "latest nuance" to Rubio's position.
"It's what he’s been saying since the Human Events interview and in every interview since that,” Burgos said. Rubio’s support was for the second “fixer” bill to amend the original law, he added.
As for the law itself?
“He believes firmly that this is a federal responsibility,” Burgos said. “He is running for U.S. Senate. He is running to tackle this issue at the federal level.
"His position has been consistent throughout."